Poem – Young Caroline Adair

It was a delight to recently discover a very old book of local poetry by Henry McAnally. The book is called ‘Effusions After Toil – a collection of poems and lyrics’

McAnally was reared locally, but eventually left Ireland in 1859 to find work in Scotland.

The amateur poet later reflected:

I certainly feel delighted at the prospect of my humble verse being thus acknowledged by the people among whom I was born, for my heart is still in their midst.

It is impossible for me to forget the hills, glens, lakes, rivers, and all the other rural beauties of ‘Derry.

Cairn Tocher Mountains, Lough Neagh, Lough Beg, River Bann, and Mayola’s lovely torrent are indelible engravings in my remembrance.

It was in my early boyhood, and in the year 1859, that I left the banks of the Bann, and I have not seen the sweet enchanting place but once since that time.


Poem - Caroline Adair

She was the pride of Portglenone,
The glory of the Bann;
And where her beaming glances shone
All other lights grew wan.
That not a gem on earth could shine,
In radiance to compare With Caroline — sweet Caroline —
Young Caroline Adair.

She stood, in twenty years of bloom,
A maid, serenely gay;
Nor thought November’s blast of doom
Would come in vernal May.
And there was not, from brine to brine,
Another maid so fair As Caroline — sweet Caroline —
Young Caroline Adair.

And often, by the Bann’s clear waves,
She, like an angel, sang.
While in their deep, enchanted caves
Delighted echoes rang;
And small birds would their songs resign,
To hear the vocal air Of Caroline — sweet Caroline —
Young Caroline Adair.

But death, who plunders as he goes
Among the tribes of man,
Untimely snatched that lovely rose —
The glory of the Bann.
And soon a youth was known to pine,
And perish in despair,
For Caroline — sweet Caroline —
Young Caroline Adair.

She died — and how could he remain,
For his was faithful love;
A silent woe, a wasting pain.
An emblem of the dove.
And now, beyond the stars that shine.
He dwells in upper air with Caroline — sweet Caroline —
Young Caroline Adair

By Henry McAnally, 1884






"I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

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